Iowa cattle producers will have several opportunities for experiencing and learning practical information that can be used immediately on their farms by attending this year's Iowa Cattlemen's Association Convention and Annual Meeting Dec. 12-14. The meeting will be at The Prairie Meadows Event & Conference Center in Altoona, on the east edge of Des Moines.
"There's no way producers can lose by attending the 2011 annual meeting," says ICA convention organizer Trent Wellman. "The theme of our meeting is 'What's in Your Cards?', and ICA is offering many options to draw a winning hand." In addition, new ICA members will receive one free hotel night's stay at either of the ICA Convention and Annual Meeting hotels, and all convention-goers can save money by registering before the early bird deadline on Nov. 28, he says.
On Dec. 12, cattle producers can attend a Cattlemen's College in the morning. The Pfizer-sponsored event features Dr. D. Dee Griffin, feedlot production management veterinarian at the University of Nebraska's Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center. Griffin will do an economic review of a cost-effective health program, as well as analyze the cost of mistakes.
Tour will feature three different kinds of "state of the art" cattle facilities
In the afternoon, three cattle facilities in Story County will be part of a bus tour. Each farmer's facility shows a different approach that today's feeders can consider. The facilities include a hoop building; a modified hoop, which is an open lot combined with a hoop; and a monoslope building combined with an alternative technology system.
In the evening, building designers will make brief comments before a panel presentation about using crop residues as feed stock. This program has been under development through a collaboration of John Deere, ADM, and Monsanto. Dan Loy, Interim Director of the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University will pull together the key issues from the afternoon and evening events.
On Tuesday, Dec. 13) there will be six different Info-Expo sessions held throughout the day. Topics include:
* Stacking the Deck for the "Future Cowherd—Technology and Genetics" will help the commercial cow-calf operator become more efficient and profitable.
* Hedge Your Bets to "How To Control Your Feeding Costs In Times Of High Grain Prices"--Speaker Dan Loy, Iowa State University, will discuss common technology and alternative options to manage operational risks.
* All In: the NCBA view of national "Priorities on Farm Bill and Issues Affecting Iowa" – Kristina Butts, executive director of Legislative Affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, will discuss federal budget issues that are driving decisions at the federal level, how will that impact Iowa cattle producers.
* Playing the Rush when it comes to "Adding Value to Feeder Calves"--Kellie Carolan, ICA seedstock manager, will review ideas that focus on adding value to your calves from birth to weaning.
* Taking the Odds: "Being Proactive About Local Water Quality and Your Operation" –Gene Tinker, the coordinator of Animal Feeding Operations for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Shawn Shouse, Iowa State University Extension Ag Engineer, will talk about a self-assessment tool for producers to use on their operation to ensure water quality, and other environmental issues impacting cattle producers.
* Determining your Ante when it comes to "Rebuilding the Cow Herd" – Iowa State University Extension Beef Specialists Joe Sellers and Byron Leu will discuss how heifer development and sales will be keys for building back the national and state cow herd.
Also on Dec. 13 committees to meet to discuss new proposed resolutions
Also on Dec. 13, the Beef Product, Business Issues and Cattle Production policy committees will meet to discuss new proposed resolutions, as well as review expiring policies in each of the areas. Other activities on Dec. 13 are a trade show, awards luncheon, trade show reception, and dinner followed by the Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation Annual Fundraising Auction. The trade show will continue on Dec. 14, and the annual business meetings of the Iowa Beef Industry Council (which is responsible for the use of check-off dollars) and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association will be held.
Early registration for the ICA Convention and Annual Meeting will save attendees $35 per person. If you register by Nov. 28, registration is $115; after that the price increases to $150. Registration price includes four meals, the trade show, and all educational sessions. The pre-convention event Dec. 12 is free of charge, but registration is required so meal accommodations can be properly planned.Get more information or register for the meeting at the ICA website www.iacattlemen.org. The Iowa Cattlemen's Association represents about 9,500 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa's beef industry. ICA's mission is "Grow Iowa's beef business through advocacy, leadership and education."